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15th May 2021


First Reading: Acts 18:23-28

Psalms 47:2-3, 8-9, 10 Gospel: John 16:23b-28

Dear Christians, from our catechetical classes we are aware of many forms of prayer. Perhaps the prayer that comes most naturally to us in some ways is the prayer of petition. The one prayer that Jesus gave to his disciples to pray was a prayer of petition, the Lord’s Prayer. The gospels portray Jesus as petitioning God; his prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane is an example of such a prayer, ‘Father, take this cup from me’.

In today's’ gospel reading, Jesus encourages his disciples to petition God, ‘Ask and you will receive, and so your joy will be complete’. We know from experience that we don’t receive everything we ask for in prayer; we ask God to heal someone we love and it doesn’t happen. Yet, Jesus encourages us to ask and in asking, he promises us that we will receive. He seems to be saying that in asking, in petitioning God, we always receive, even if we do not receive in the way we wanted to receive. Our prayer of petition creates a space in our lives in which God can work for our ultimate good. Anyone who loves Jesus and believes that he came from the father to save the world has access to divine provisions through the name of Jesus. Any disciple of Jesus is entitled to anything he asks in the name of Jesus. However, entitlement does not automatically mean possession. Jesus tells us that we are entitled to have anything if we ask. In that sense no prayer, offered in faith and trust is ever wasted. Paul, Apollos experienced this. Let us ask God for the grace to be, to have and to love in the name of Jesus.


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